• 953 words • 3min read •
It is during my road trip along the South of France that I met Sebastien Krier, the half of ouvrage… concept store, in Aix-en-Provence. Within this tasteful and aesthetic concept store, is also installed the architect studio of Sebastian and Agnès Krier. A Human-size agency, privileging the direct contact and trusting relationships with its customers. In ouvrage…, everything is art related, our partners define themselves as craftsmen who put the art to the service of others.
An Artistic Affair
Both graduated from the Architect School of Marseille twenty years ago, Agnès and Sebastien decided to create in 2003 their own architect studio – called ask>architecture – in Aix-en-Provence, the hometown of Agnès. At a point, our architect couple wanted a bigger place to add another dimension to their activity. Therefore, Sebastien and Agnès Krier opened their concept store two years ago; a boutique-gallery where they are able to expose everything they admire.
“We are running our life by following our ideas, our desires. When we decided to undertake this project, it seemed to us very right. We had some troubles, and we will always have, but what compensate is that we share our crush, our vision of art, our discoveries and findings. This is the most important to us.”
As excellent architects, Agnès and Sebastien are very sensitive to art and create their own by themselves. Agnès is weaving in the mezzanine of the store, where she installed her weaving workshop, next to the architect office. She creates and designs incredible pieces (scarf, bags, plaids, table runners, wall weavings,…) made with love and natural materials: linen, cotton, nettle yarn, and hemp yarn.
Sebastien, him, is making pieces from burnt wood. He is exposing as well in the shop and he is exploring some collaborations. For instance, he co-created some pieces with the artist Anne Bacquié who is working with the Jude bitumen.
Valorize the French know-how
ouvrage… it is an Arts & Crafts gallery-boutique located on a small street with an authentic, atypical and very creative atmosphere. Inside ouvrage…, you find a refined and aesthetic place, but with a warm atmosphere. You discover an elegant and fine selection of ceramics, leather, glasswork, jewelry, and textiles, created and produced by French art craftsmen, artists, and creators.
Inspired and guided by the outsider and the contemporary art, Agnès and Sebastien are looking for unique creative people who produce artworks with a research of sense. Some of the artists are people they already know because they were actually their clients. Sometimes they meet the artists a little bit randomly, on the social media or during a fair specialized in the craft.
However, the selection of the artists is made with the heart. The magic happens when there is a story behind the product and the production. Agnès and Sebastien cannot resist a beautiful product that has a beautiful story and a beautiful person behind.
Consequently, the everyday goal of Agnès and Sebastien is to always find French creators and artists. But also to keep the place clean and not to busy so each artist has its own area.
“We don’t want to mix too much our artists, even though sometimes some of them match together. But the point is to give to each piece their own space so it can breathe.”
The boutique area
Sebastien and Agnès are really attracted to the ceramic pieces. It is almost everywhere in this shop. In the ceramics category, ouvrage… is valorizing the work of Cécile Préziosa, Jérôme Hirson, Laurence Labbé, Nathalie Audibert, Patricia Veiljeux… All these names are actually becoming very prestigious in the ceramic scene in France. They all represent a real gage of quality and trustability.
When I mentioned the fact that Sebastien and Agnès are selecting their partners following their heart, it is the case for the Manufacture de Digoin.
“This manufacture was running since 1875. It created a lot of jobs in the area and develop the ceramic know-how of the Bourgogne country. The manufacture was sleeping for some years when Corinne Jourdain and some investors restart its activity.
We met this person and we were so admirative of what she undertook that we wanted in our way to continue this story as well by exposing their ceramics. It is essential for us to perpetuate a historical know-how of our country.”
Despite the ceramics, there is also the leather works from Atelier Saint-Loup, the glassworks from Laurence Brabant, the vegetable dyeing textiles of Harumi Sugiura, and the candles with real beeswax from Apiculte.
The gallery area
The other purpose of the concept store is also to exhibit artists like an actual gallery. When I interviewed Sebastien, ouvrage… was exposing Isabelle Marthouret Brisset, a photographer and painting artist specialized in collages and photography.
Organizing the vernissage of artists is a really good way to increase the awareness of the shop. Through their vernissages, Agnès and Sebastien aim to create privileged moments between the artists and the visitors of the shop. It is a place for exchange, discussion, and debate. A timeless instant where each person is focusing on a piece of art, and forget about the rest. A privileged time where you share your passion and learn from the others.
ouvrage… is a place of creative expression. Agnès and Sebastien, as well as their community, are working hard every day to spread human-made products with real stories, and sincere passion. If you are looking for new sensibilities, there is no doubt that ouvrage… is the right place for you.
46, rue du Puits Neuf
13100 Aix en Provence
+33 (0) 953 378 141 – +33 (0) 676 190 756
Tue.-Sat.: 10h-12h30 and 14h-19h